AS musical sparring partners go, rock bands Orphaned Land and Khalas are an unlikely match.
Yet the decade-old collaboration between Israelis Orphaned Land and their Palestinian counterparts has been a heavenly one that has seen them bring a new meaning to the notion of co-existence, according to Khalas guitarist Abed Hathut.
And while the bands have always enjoyed positive relations, they took a giant step forward on a mammoth global tour this year.
The fruitful friendship began when Abed introduced himself to Orphaned Land lead vocalist Kobi Farhi after his band had finished doing a radio interview.
As a result, Kobi included a Khalas track on a compilation of Oriental Metal which was released by Century Media.
This year's tour - which arrived in the UK last month, almost fell through.
Abed recalled: "Three months before the tour I called Kobi and said, 'Listen, I'm sorry, but we can't do the tour. We have no money and we can't join you'."
But Kobi urged Khalas to find a source of sponsorship.
"We thought outside the box and started concocting new methods of potential funding," said 32-year-old Abed.
"Thankfully it arrived after we convinced our sponsors that they were in a no-lose situation.
"We had been talking about this tour for the best part of two years.
"Yet every time we thought we had a date, it never happened because we couldn't find the time."
With finances in tow, the whirlwind junket saw them take in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and Portugal before hitting the UK and Ireland.
And now that he is back home, Abed has had time to reflect on the journey.
"We are not singing or writing for peace per se, but we are saying there is another way," he explained.
"Sharing the same tour bus with an Israeli band, without a single little argument, is the message itself.
"We don't need to shout about our political beliefs because you know our views already.
"We are Palestinians - we are against the occupation. What is the point of going over it again?
"Arab minorities are not living in heaven, but we choose to take the musical path.
"What would we achieve by going over this all the time while on stage? We prefer to let the music speak for itself."
And what is that brand of music?
"We are similar to Orphaned Land yet also very different," the guitarist said.
"Each year we seem to attract more fans around the world so we must be doing something right, but any success is a by-product of music.
"The higher purpose, and what is really important, is playing music with your friends.
"And the great thing about Orphaned Land is that they are so open-minded and listen to the other side of the argument - some people are not open enough to the other side.
"Each side has its own story and its own emotions."
Yet the partnership has, somewhat inevitably, brought with it negative consequences for Khalas.
Abed said: "We had two shows cancelled in Ramallah because of our relationship with Orphaned Land.
"Sadly, there is a small group that don't want Jews and Arabs to work together, no matter how small that work is.
"That is sad and one of the main reasons we don't have peace and unfortunately those minorities are prevalent on both sides.
"Some have never heard of them or us, yet they hold these views."
Abed grew up in Acre, a city in the Galilee, and he recalled a childhood that saw him mix with Jews and Arabs.
But was he ever worried that music would be overshadowed by the obvious political consequences of their collaboration?
"Yes - there is a truth in that statement," he admitted. "Of course, I want to talk music and not conflict - it's the same questions over and over again from journalists - no offence.
"If you were sitting with Jay-Z, would you ask about black rights in America?"
Fortunately for Khalas, they had plenty of time to expose audiences to their music on the aforementioned tour.
On a bill that also featured Jordanian band Bilocate, Khalas were the main support for Orphaned Land - and also collaborated on plenty of tracks - in half Israeli, half Arabic - much to the delight of their joint sets of fans.
"The tour was really great," Abed declared. "The crowds were crazy for us and we were shocked that they were so passionate.
"We sold out of CDs and merchandise."
Sales might very well continue to improve thanks to what Abed called a "better than ever" music scene for Arabs in Israel.
He continued: "The industry is becoming more modern and creating products in English.
"And not just in music either - it is in all facets of entertainment and Israeli television has reached the point where they can sell shows to foreign counties.
"From an Arab perspective also, if you look back to 15 years ago, there was no rock scene for the Arab community living in Israel. We helped build that from scratch.
"People had no ways of seeing a band play, but these days you have rave parties and a very good underground scene that is evolving all the time."
The next question on fans minds is a simple one.
Is a joint-album in the offing?
Abed revealed: "It is an idea we are looking at. I believe it will come sooner than we expect because we have a lot going on and I believe that will be the next step."
Khalas have released two albums - Ma Adesh Feeha and this year's Arabic Rock Orchestra.